“Done Deal”

When Jesus chose to come to earth through the womb of a humble virgin and chose a stable as the destination for his arrival and He chose a poor carpenter as His earthly step-father, it would be to the confusion and confounding of those who awaited the Messiah to be born in splendor, in the finest of palaces with the proverbial golden spoon in His mouth.

And it worked quite nicely, He wanted those who came to Him to come to Him because HE IS not because of who thought THOUGHT Him to be. Only a true King could have such a test to reveal His true servants from those who just wanted His prestige. As we know even after hearing His very words spoken in their own ears, the Pharisees and Jews could still not grasp the thought that the loving, gentle, ORDINARY man could possibly be the Son of the one true God.

Although He did come as ordinary and unpretentious, No matter how it may have appeared we know that HE IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY! I am not so sure that we have moved quite far enough away from those thoughts that also easily sway our minds.

We often ignore that still. small voice because our ears are striving to hear a loud proclamation. Sometimes we are so enamored with the thought of having our worlds rocked that we completely miss the fact that the ground IS already shaking.

We can completely miss what is right in front of us, simply because it does not look like we had pictured it to look. It does not sound exactly as we thought it would and by holding onto to OUR thoughts we can miss out on a lot. Just as He said, His ways ARE higher than our ways and His thoughts ARE higher than are thoughts, it rests on forgetting what we ever thought in the first place and acknowledging His will.

I used this particular passage in a former now non-existent post, but I would like to revisit that SAME thought here, again. This is the amazing story of Peter being arrested, imprisoned, supernaturally  freed and those who WERE praying for his freedom, NOT BELIEVING when he literally showed up on their doorstep! We’ll pick up here:

ACTS 12:4-16: “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (squads of four) of soldiers, to keep him: intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

 Peter was therefore kept in prison: but PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING OF THE CHURCH UNTO GOD FOR HIM. And when Herod would have (was about to) bring him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping BETWEEN two soldiers, BOUND WITH TWO CHAINS and the keepers before the door kept the prison (guards were also at the door).

And, behold, the ANGEL of the Lord came upon him (stood by him), and  A LIGHT SHINED  IN THE PRISON: and he smote Peter on the side, and RAISED HIM UP, saying, Arise up quickly. and HIS CHAINS FEEL OFF FROM HIS HANDS.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put shoes on).  And so he did. And he saith unto him cast thy garment about thee, and FOLLOW ME. And he went out, and followed him: and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel (did not know for sure if it was real) but THOUGHT he saw a vision. 

When they were passed the first and the second ward (guard posts) they came unto the IRON GATE that leadeth into the city; which OPENED TO THEM of his own accord (opened WITHOUT ANY HUMAN HELP): and they went out, and passed through one street; and the angel departed from him.

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod,  and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

And when he had considered the thing, he CAME to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER PRAYING.

And as Peter KNOCKED AT THE DOOR OF THE GATE, a damsel came to hearken (answer the door) named Rhoda. And  when she KNEW Peter’s voice, she opened NOT the gate for gladness (she was so happy that she actually FORGOT to open the door) but RAN IN, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

And THEY SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART MAD (OUT OF YOUR MIND). BUT she CONSTANTLY affirmed that it was even so (true). Then they said it is his angel.  But Peter CONTINUED KNOCKING: and WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THE DOOR, AND SAW HIM, THEY WERE ASTONISHED.”

So much there, here they are praying and praying, seeking and seeking and Rhoda knew that it was Peter, she recognized his voice but she is so happy and overjoyed that she just forgets to open it. When she tells the others they just simply DO NOT BELIEVE it. 

Now again, maybe if God has sent an old dude leaning on a staff, with a long gray flowing beard, shouting terms such as”Hearken, grand prayer warriors…” or sent thunder and lighting to flash as Peter approached, well maybe that was WHAT they thought they should receive as acknowledgment that their prayers had been heard.

But no, they got Rhoda, and what they told her, actually translates to, “YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND” so they are like, ” Well, that is just that crazy Rhoda,, making up stuff, just ignore her….you know she isn’t quite right in the head anyway.”

Cute side note, Rhoda must have not been too crazy, she did, after-all get an honorable mention in the book :)!

But even after all that praying they STILL REFUSED TO BELIEVE, and decided that it was his angel. If it does not make sense to our human minds, we must FIND an explanation for it, right?

Not sure why we do these things. Do we doubt that our prayers will be answered? Do we really believe that it just COULD NOT be THAT simple? When actually, IT IS that simple. Do we feel that we need more grandeur? And do we feel we need that for the glory of God… or is it for us?

Do we just dislike the messenger and feel that we are worthy of a higher, more “spiritual” messenger?

You know, like waiting on a group of herald angels to break down the door and proclaim the answer you have been seeking when actually all that is needed is FOR SOMEONE JUST ANSWER THE DOOR! And acknowledge WHO is standing there! 

We can miss many wonderful events by our own refusal to let God be God and answer AS HE calls and not get so caught up in the delivery or manifestation of these events. Just as His humble arrival to this earth heralded the greatest event of all time.

What if the wise men had decided that the place the star led just didn’t look the part? The humble shepherds NEVER expected to hear an angelic chorus praising the birth of the Saviour… which IS EXACTLY WHY they were allowed to hear it!

Don’t lose out on a done deal just because you refuse to open the door.

From my archives. Original post date 2016.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

POLICE STATE

This is from my archives. It is several years old and had been unpublished for awhile. But after seeing the news article and footage of the sixteen year old from West Virginia that was subjected to absolute brutality after evading police, I decided to add this back to my site. Can’t be said enough.

  As John preached repentance and many of certain professions came to inquire what would be required of them to perform the duties of their livelihood and still enter the kingdom of heaven, and this was his reply to the “peacekeepers” of the day:

  LUKE 3:14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (intimidate, shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Now, I really did not particularly relish the task of trying to tackle this subject. As it is in that mysterious list of topics that are really hard to deal with in a church environment and can bring about emotions in either direction to the extreme but it needed addressed because it is rising up out of our culture at an alarming rate more and more every day.

 Police brutality, harassment, and intimidation in our nation is quickly becoming a boiling pot and is in danger of boiling completely over and burning us all as a nation.

I am neutral. I can see BOTH sides with completely equal clarity. This has always been a problem, always, just as John in the Bible was pointing out the same issues that we still wrestle today because there is corruption in all walks of life and in ALL professions but recently in light of news story after news story showing brutality upon brutality is becoming a breaking point for our society.

And it is not just a black problem or a white problem, it has no cultural root, it is a broken people problem. My first encounter with law enforcement was being around four years old awoken by a flashlight shining on my face, policemen were at our house looking for my oldest brother. Now fast forward just a tad, December 3, 1973 he and two more boys happened upon a vehicle that had been left unattended and someone thought hopping in it and taking it for a ride would be the thing to do.

The Police chase that followed would bring a bloody end to an eighteen year old life. The real issue my family had problems understanding is how could he jump behind a wheel and drive speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour in a straight shift, when he did not know how to drive one, or how his head injuries were so traumatic that his scalp ended up on a guard rail.

Guess he was a fast learner and uninjured passengers must have just got lucky. By the time he had been painted as a speeding maniac that endangered the lives of all travelers, the grieving family really didn’t ask the questions until years later.

But THEY said he was driving so….. we could go on with a list of 1970’s “justice” in the South but I think you can suffice it to say that my family never hung out a welcome sign for them. and they were only to be viewed with fear, and mistrust.

BUT I did say I was neutral didn’t I?  Okay, when I was eighteen while babysitting my nieces we were broken in on by their father who was pretty determined to take them and after having the phone taken, being pinned to a counter and threatened and “cussed” till hades wouldn’t have me, I can honestly tell you my opinion changed and the only hope that I and those children had was the knowledge that THEY were on their way and THEY would save us and by the point that I had been let go and was sitting on the couch near the window he had come through, I could see four policemen slowly moving toward the door and I can with everything in me tell you that I have never been so relieved to see anyone in all my life. 

And I realized whatever THEY are, not all of them are bad. As with what my family experienced, so many others have had these awful encounters and they have questions without answers and justice seems only a dream for some but if we continue the culture of hatred and indifference toward law enforcement we will only breed more hatred and violence. I still have friends that are in law enforcement and there are some that are great people, who truly have a heart to help, serve, and protect others and they are who we as the church need to focus on.

Bad apples are ruining the entire bushel.  Environment can be a powerful, powerful force and you may have a person who started out with the best of intentions and enough time and enough pressure can turn that person into whom they never intended to be.

As a profession, law enforcement has some extremely disturbing statistics, suicide rates of around seventeen percent usually before ten years service and the highest rates between forty to forty-four years of age with the highest rate being in officers with over twenty years service, high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and with domestic violence rates double that of the national average.

For the record those are actually older statistics, so now to ask how does this happen? Well, think of this, if you went to your job every day knowing that you may not make it home, that every shift may be your last. If the average person viewed you with hatred and suspicion often being fought, cursed, and spit on and weave into that seeing victims of violence and car accidents leaving bodies bloody, mangled and often dismembered, working suicides complete with brains splattered against walls, delivering news to families that loved ones have been killed. Often working double shifts with very little rest and often with an extra job to just to make ends meet. Now internalize all those things you have just seen because you are required to be “strong” and conceal your emotions. Do this day after day, you would soon  find that there is nothing normal about it. No human can handle that kind of stress without God and no human can handle that type of job stress and not be affected in some way.

“Be ye not overcome by evil BUT overcome evil with good” that verse tells us that all humans at one point or another can be overcame by the evils around them. I will NEVER by any means whatsoever say that those who are just evil do not exist. I think I have shown proof that I do understand families who are angry and protest and want justice, I do understand because whether my brother had issues or not, eighteen is too young for a life to end because of a stupid joy ride. But I also understand the risk we take as a society, if we do not remember that those in this profession are not merely “they” or “them” but are actually individuals just as we as Christians are individuals and that they do hurt and that they are souls that can break and help the cause of good to overcome the evil and that those who are of honor will have courage to stand against those who do not.

 The truth is there will be no peace on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ and without men and women who are willing to stand between those who wish to harm and those who would be harmed we would be truly in anarchy. And as time draws closer, the world gets crazier we will need good ones more than ever. 

I know people pray for their safety but we also need to pray that God will watch over those who do walk in integrity and keep them in integrity and that they will always treat others with the same respect that they desire and pray He will send them help with those burdens and that they will not be overcame by the evil they see and face. That they will look at others also as human and not become jaded and view everyone as rampant criminals. And that the mere notion of keeping peace requires excessive violence will no longer be held and for the termination of the ideology that the ends can justify the means and as concerning those who are brutal and miscarry justice, well you know the prayer, the same one you pray over it all “Deliver us from evil.” 

Jesus Christ is the one true law giver, and judge. He will render to all as they have sown and Vengeance is His.

I wrote this on behalf of victims,and their families, and true justice. His story, like the stories of so many others deserved to be told and in his case justice was NOT served, it was miscarried.   May he rest in peace.

Roger

Roger McKinley Brown 08/13/1955-12/03/1973

 

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016

Post note: I did lose one FB friend with this… which is not too bad, but that does prove a point that if people are so unwilling to believe that law enforcement or ANY other professional group are above reproach, that explains the problem with this issue. There are bad people in ALL walks of life a “one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel” and if we can’t even discuss an issue, we will never have healing and peace in our society.

Broken Body

I was actually going through some old posts in search of one I wanted to repost. And I found this which gets into the new one I plan to do concerning the gifts and callings. This one is a couple of years old but I hope it starts a “stirring” in our thoughts.

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are ONE body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST. For by ONE spirit are we ALL baptized into ONE BODY, Whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have ALL been made to drink into ONE spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were  (where would be)the hearing?

If the whole body were hearing, where were (where would be) the smelling (sense of smell)?

But NOW GOD hath set the members every one in the body, AS IT HATH PLEASED HIM.

And if they were all one member, where were (where would be)the body?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: Nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak), are necessary.

And those members of the body, WE THINK to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour, and our uncomely ( unpresentable) have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered (composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour that part which lacked: that there SHOULD BE NO schism (DIVISION) in the body: BUT THAT THE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CARE ONE FOR ANOTHER. 

And WHEN ONE MEMBER SUFFER, ALL THE MEMBERS SUFFER WITH IT: OR ONE MEMBER BE HONOURED, ALL THE MEMBERS REJOICE WITH IT. Now YE ARE the BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular (individually).” 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27

Not too terribly hard to figure out that he is referring to the body of believers, the followers of Christ. You know the ones he told us to not forsake the assembling together with. But this body is having health issues, and bad.

I heard a sermon the other night, that I loved, I enjoy hearing this particular person and have complete trust in them and usually go away feeling refreshed, revived, and ready to take on the rest of the week.

But this night I was troubled. I was troubled because I knew everything he said was perfectly right. I know you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. And I really don’t know what is wrong with us, any of us.

We are the body but there is so much broken in the body because, one as Paul pointed out we tend to believe that we just don’t need each other. And when one “part” of the body is wounded ALL the body suffers whether they know it or not.

No matter what great vision that the eyes see or what a wonderful word the ears hear if the feet are maimed and crippled it is hard to run with those messages.

Once we are adopted into Christ whether we know or even like it, we are still one and we need to care about each other and help the eyes when they become irritated, check the ears when they become muffled and care for, and strengthened the hands and feet and all the other parts that are unseen.

We become crippled, deaf, and maimed and no one sees, no one notices, because no one wants responsibility for body.

I had a friend from another church years ago, and hadn’t talked with them in a very long time, but a few years back I started just keeping them on my heart and I prayed and I prayed, their number had been changed and I would ask other people when I got a chance, how they were and no one knew, no one had talked to them. So a few weeks ago, I though AHA, social media, I’ll check Facebook and I found a page, and it was disturbing because the last post was from 2014 and the content of the page gave no hint at Christianity, actually quite the opposite.

So I checked obituaries for their area, and sure enough, the obituary was there. I do not know what happened, they died at a medical center, it mentioned nothing about church or their faith only the duel ministers that was to perform the service.

I pray to God that in whatever happened that there was enough time to get their heart and soul back to God, but I know God is merciful and I do believe in death-bed repentance.

I would not bet my soul on living life ignoring God’s voice with the thought of repenting in the nick of time because that is dangerous and has prior thought, but I do believe if we have messed up or just never got saved that it can be done.

But still I wonder what happened? How did it happen? Not the death but the backsliding, There had to be people who saw, who knew and knew what was happening to this person. Maybe they tried, maybe they couldn’t get through. But the biggest question I have is did anyone try?

Remember the observations in these posts are multi-church examples noticed over a period of years and comments people have made to me personally about the subject of “Why?” concerning all the problems listed.

So it does not mean I am talking about a specific place, but there have been so many hurting people and hospitalized people, and people with dying loved ones that have questioned why they were NEVER visited by anyone from their church family or in some cases their pastors. And not even phone calls, and no one is too busy to pick up a phone and check on another person that you know is sick or struggling.

It means something to people when others take time to visit them, check on them, or just listen and when it is not there, they lose faith, they lose faith in church, and their church families and we never want them to lose faith in God, but it is in these times of sickness and weakness that the enemy attacks and it does affect the entire body of Christ, even though we may not feel the pain at first, it will be like an infection left untreated it will spread to the rest of the body.

It is up to us, ALL of us to share the job of taking care of the body of Christ. you don’t even have to attend the same church with a person to help them in these needs because churches have nothing to do with it, still ONE body.

Such an indifference has taken over and along with it, the other “watch for” problem is three-ring circuses, attitudes, and things being allowed to come in and go on that should never be allowed in the House of God.

The refusal to acknowledge and deal with these problems for fear of losing members is another big, big hindrance to the worship of God and the work of God, and the furthering of His Kingdom.

The Holy spirit is precious, we need Him but He will not be part of strife, anger, and gossip. There is an ample supply of that some places to at the point and knowing that God wants to move but it is like when He “could not” do miracles with His own people, and when He put out all the naysayers when he resurrected Jarius’ daughter.

He CAN DO whatever He wants, He just WILL NOT work in gossip, back-biting, and nay saying, and he detests division in the family. This is why we are to not grieve the Holy Spirit, but to be in one mind, and one accord, one purpose and one thought which is on Him.

Satan loves the game of divide and conquer, he tried in out in heaven and he successfully tore apart the family in heaven taking a third of his angelic brethren with him and  he has nearly perfected it on earth and he still plays the same old game with the church family.

There has to be order and problems need addressed correctly openly and honestly with all parties involved present and not with this one said, that one said and this one thought,  there is no healing in that.

We need each other and we need to be there for each other:

ECCLESIASTES 4:9,10, & 12:” Two ARE BETTER than one: because they have a good reward for their labour. For IF THEY FALL, THE ONE WILL LIFT UP HIS FELLOW (COMPANION):

BUT WOE TO HIM THAT IS ALONE WHEN HE FALLETH; FOR HE HATH NOT ANOTHER TO HELP HIM UP. AND IF ONE PREVAIL AGAINST HIM, TWO SHALL WITHSTAND HIM; AND A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN.”

One can’t fight off much alone, but two have double the shot, and better yet three, makes a much more secure line that the enemy will have to try to get through.

As Jesus said we are to love our neighbors AS ourselves and that means doing for others as we would want done for us.

We are commanded to do good to ALL men but especially those of the household of the Lord and to prefer others over ourselves, knowing that  it is God who will lift us up in our time of need.

So please don’t be so sure the person sitting there crying through a service will be just fine, don’t ever make the mistake of convincing yourself that God will send someone to help them ( your already there) never be so convinced of what you see is really what you think it is, no one knows the life, heart and mind of another except God and they could be struggling with things that you can not even fathom. Don’t think the body will heal itself from the inside out, it needs the Great Physician, it needs the Balm of Gilead, and most of all it needs someone, all of us, to admit that it needs help.

Φλογίζω-Σαλπιζω  NB 2016

 

 

“It’s gonna have to be stirred, but who’s got the stick?”

Neglect not THE gift that IS in thee, which was given thee by prophecy.with the laying on the hands of the presbytery (elders). 

MEDITATE upon these things; GIVE THYSELF wholly (ENTIRELY) to them; that thy profiting may appear (be evident) to all.

TAKE HEED unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; CONTINUE in them; for in doing THIS thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. ” 1 Timothy 4:14-16

I hope that the bold and underline type really hits what I want to get at with this, it is hard to preach without a “voice” but thankfully bold type can be quite loud.

I am first and foremost a “messenger” and this particular message is that most ignored message anyone can ever give and I know that, because once I delivered it live, went home and another person told me about the message at the church they had attended that  same night, it was essentially the same message, different delivery person and you know we should be paying attention to other churches and other ministries also because I do believe that it is seven times Jesus tells us in the Book of Revelation,“He that hath an ear, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES…” 

That has been a very long time and despite all the messengers God sends, those gifts, NOT to mention the CALLINGS are still being neglected and if you doubt that look at this world.

Where are the miracles? Miracles, mention of which we need to be reminded of the fact that miracles are NOT for believers , but are for those who DO NOT believe, to prove the existence of God. Miracles are not for our benefit but to bring those who do not believe to Christ Where is the healing? Healing, the gift that is given from God along with the working of miracles. These two gifts are actually one and are given together, so where are they?

Where is the deliverance? Where are those who are supposed to make up that hedge between the world and those who have not yet surrendered to God? Where are  words of wisdom and the prophecies to help believers stand in times of trouble? 

Where is the gift of faith? Not the measure of faith given to all believers, but the gift of faith, that pulls down strong holds, released chains and does battle against the absolute forces of hell through the POWER of the Holy Ghost and there it is, we can do nothing, and no matter how much we speak, think, or hope without the power of God and the effectual working of those gifts in our actual callings, nothing in this world is going to change, if the “church” as a whole doesn’t wake up soon and put God and his work before their personal work, personal lives and comfort, thoughts and opinions it is only going to get worse.

God has bestowed these gifts on individuals for the work of the kingdom, so where are they?

Are they held captive inside an unwilling vessel?

Are they tucked away inside someone who sits at home inside of attending church because they have been hurt and offended that no one has tried to reach out to?

Are they wasting away inside of a believer sitting on a church pew that has no idea what is even inside of them, much less how to nurture and use that gift.

And again this is not even getting into all of it or the callings that are not being fulfilled.

Why? Because the neglect is not always intentional, sometimes it comes from the lack of being stirred and to nothing can stir itself, I do realize we can encourage ourselves in the Lord, through His word and that we are to “stir up” our faith, but this kind of stirring requires a “stick” and we can’t stir this in ourselves, we can help feed it, help nurture it, but you can read from these scriptures that it requires an elder, a prophet, or some other trusted individual of God to do the “stirring”.

2 Timothy 1:6: “” Wherefore I put thee in remembrance (want to remind you) that thou stir up the gift, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands.”

Paul had the “stick” he prayed for counted people, God granted him miracles and marvelous displays of the power of God, which through many, many were saved.

He wrote most of the New Testament and he wrote these things to Timothy to “stir” him because was his spiritual son, and we are all siblings in the Lord and should want to see those callings fulfilled on other’s lives and we all need those gifts working.

So we know that God has those who do have “sticks” and it is part of their job to STIR OTHERS.

Teaching is also a calling, we don’t just wake up one morning knowing all these things and when we come into Christ we have to learn, and to learn we need teachers.

I have always felt that why so many “go back out” they are treated like they should already know these things when truly how on earth could they?

They get discouraged and think that there is something just wrong with them and end up back out.

Of course the Bible tells us that we have no need that a man teach us, because God teaches us, but I don’t think He means every little thing, I think He is referring to the more personal things and “one on one” situations.

Lord’s will, there will be several more posts dealing in more detail about the gifts and callings, but for now let’s REALLY think about “stirring”.

Many definitions of “stir”: To affect strongly, to excite, to BECOME active, to rouse from INDIFFERENCE, to provoke deliberately, to MOVE, especially RISING FROM SLEEP, to move AWAY from USUAL POSITION. To HAPPEN, To BEGIN.

Stirring stick: Is used to mix ingredients and if you think in terms of God living in us and as scripture says “to make in himself of twain (two) one new man” and that hearing the Word of God must be mixed  with faith, as we are told of those that we NOT profited because the word was NOT mixed with that faith. Just as we are saved by faith through grace, there are combinations and those combinations must be right. Which brings us to “stirring rod” which is used to mix gently and slowly and carefully as to not cause adverse reactions when dealing with dangerous chemicals. 

Think of this in terms of a cake that is half-baked, not that cake has anything to do with danger, but a calling that is not fulfilled or a person burned out or certain callings that left in the “natural” will actually destroy the vessel.

I’ll give this, if a person had a calling that dealt in certain realms of the supernatural and the battle against that calling came full force and made them a feel like a Gazingstock  or if they had felt that they had been running an impossible gauntlet it would be very easy for them to just give up if no one ever told them that this is just part of the deal.

With billions addicted to drugs, people committing suicide every single day, people hurt, lonely, and feeling that they have nowhere to turn and turning to all the wrong things. The church growing smaller rather than earth yielding her promised increase, wickedness running amok rather than that promised righteousness spring forth.

And every single second counting more precious for the eleventh hour watchmen knowing that God left us to do this work and we will be held accountable for all we do and yet all we fail to do, shouldn’t we finally figure out who has that stick and who supposed to be doing the stirring?

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t let getting right go wrong”

“Mercy and truth are met together and; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.Psalm 85:10

I used this scripture in a recent post about the mercy of God and I will probably use bits of it for the next several posts.

Just wanted you know that I’m not trippin’ 🙂

So let’s think about righteousness and what it really means, true righteousness simply means “right standing with God”, it covers integrity, honor, decency, and virtue among others. 

Self-righteousness has always been a huge problem, it goes right along with the “holier than thou” attitudes that we have all seen .

None of us can even achieve true righteousness on our own, nothing we can ever do or say that we make us “right”.

Which is great because it takes a lot of pressure off us, we would all be done for if we had to produce righteousness in our selves.

I am sure they will always be people that try to make you feel like they have cornered the market on “righteousness”.

They seem assured that they know more than everyone else, and ALWAYS have the “perfect” answer while all others are just “wrong” or that they have some sort of superhuman quality that makes them always say and do the “right” thing.

And they never do wrong or fall short… and there is obviously something wrong with you if you can’t seem to achieve their  level of perfection.

Yes, and that is quite a fairy tale that they tell!

And the Pharisee were well versed in that tale.

These thoughts and attitudes is what often puts so much undue pressure on believers and especially new ones, that they end up out of church because they feel they can’t “measure up” to those standards.

The GOOD NEWS is that those are NOT God’s standards!

Those are man-made doctrines and once you accept Christ the only standards you have to worry about are HIS and they are very clearly spelled out in His word and in the commandments.

It has never been about “measuring up” it is all about “bowing down” at the feet of Jesus and surrendering everything to Him.

Doing exactly as He commanded us, “Casting ALL your cares on him, for he careth for you.” and that truly means ALL. He knows our hearts, our thoughts,

He knows the things that make us stumble and Psalm 103:13,14  assures us of this: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth (has loving compassion on) them that fear him. For he knoweth (understands) our frame; he REMEMBERETH that we are dust.”

Ecclesiastes 7: 20:”For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” 

 Romans 3:10: “As it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUSNESS, NO, NOT ONE;.” 

Isaiah 64:6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and ALL our righteousness are as filthy rags; and all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities , like the wind, have taken us away.”

Doesn’t sound very hopeful does it? 

But that is where the TRUTH comes in, that is the place that righteousness “kisses” truth out of happiness, joy, and gratitude.

We can’t have righteous apart from the truth.

And here is that truth.

Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…”

Romans 4:18: “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification by faith.  

That one was and is Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:1-3: ” My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not (may not sin), And if any man sin,we have an advocate (intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And he is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins; and not for our’s only, but for the sins of the whole world.

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Philippians 3:9: “And be found in him, NOT having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, But that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which IS of God by faith.”

Psalm 23:3: “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

It is that truth and the faith in and of that truth that produces Godly righteousness. Romans 1:17: ” For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written,THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

We have to have that faith, just as we are told to “Work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” another verse I have used countless times and it is one of my favorites because it really states truly how simple and easy the true Gospel is to receive.

God asks only a reasonable service and no two people agree exactly on all aspects of the Gospel and that is why we are told to pray and seek with reverential fear and seriousness what the Gospel is saying to us.

Just as what would make one stumble would be no problem for another and it take the Spirit to convict, guide, and lead us into those paths of HIS righteousness.

1 John 3:18-21: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure (persuade) our hearts before him. 

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us NOT, then we have confidence toward God.

Then we KNOW that we are of Him and we have  that confident faith that those mercies are new every single day and have faith that it is HIS righteousness that covers us when we abide in Him.

Isaiah 54:17″…” This IS the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.”

So don’t let anyone get you all strung up on what you have to do and how to do it, pray and trust God and let him lead you and this is one last wonderful promise and this is the destination point that those paths of righteousness lead.

Isaiah 32:15-17:” ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be  counted for a forest.

Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness REMAIN in the fruitful field. 

And the WORK(accomplishment) of RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE, and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER.”

Thanks for reading! Love & Peace to you till next time!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Nineteen and counting…

“Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee; let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed; let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, thy tendermercies and thy lovingkindness; for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way.

The meek will he guide in judgment (justice): and the meek he will teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity: for it is great.

What man is that heareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant; Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

Look upon mine afflictions and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait upon thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.”                                       Psalm 25

That is the second set of scripture I ever tried to memorize, I am still not really good at memorizing them but I can quote a few of them verbatim.

But Psalm 25 will also be special and especially on this day.

Nineteen years and hopefully counting since the first time I ever read those words and nineteen years since I fully understood that God really is there and He really does hear us and that He  really  will move heaven and earth to save us and meet us on our terms, no matter where we are, what condition we are in.

When we ask and seek, He really will come to us, just like His word says that He will.

We don’t have to be in a church house or have a fancy person praying for us, all we have to do is ask.

And He does it not because of anything we have done, will do, or ever could do, because our righteousness is as filthy rags, just like the Bible says, He does it because He is God and He wants to save us.

have failed Him many times along the way, many mistakes and things I wish I could do completely different and choices I wish I could go back and make all over again and maybe make the “right” ones with retrospect to guide me.

But that is one of the many beauties of God, He is a God of new days dawning and those new days begin each and every day.

That I am trying to bear in my mind for this new chapter in my life, forget chapter, this baby may as well be a whole new book, with the loss of My Mom and my sister my whole world and prospective of that world has changed, and I am painfully aware that the outcomes and happiness I experience in that new world will be dependent on the Lord guiding me and how I choose to view that new world.

And I can’t make it through this day without thanking Him for saving me and even though they aren’t here now, I still have to thank Mom and Ruby, (although I did always try to truly let them know how much I appreciated them)

Ruby did not stop until she got her “heathen baby sister” saved, from buying my Valentine’s day Bible to praying constantly for me and finally when I was ready, praying the Lord’s prayer simultaneously with me on the phone, as I wanted to “learn” how to pray aloud.

She went to church with me and explained things to me and I was so scared and timid when I first started out that I would literally shake when they asked me to testify.

When I was called into ministry, her and Mom kept encouraging me and praying for me, constantly reminding me that no matter how many doors slammed in face, or pastor’s treated me like I had the plague, that God would make a way and He has through this.

They were not “just” family, they were awesome on that count also, but they were the sweetest, kindness, prayer warriors and prayer partners anyone could have ever been blessed with, and I miss them so much and especially today.

As painful that journey has been and as painful this season has been, one thing remains, God is sovereign and although life changes and life hurts, there are always going to be times of tears, but there will also been times of joy and peace, laughter, and new beginnings and in time and in His time, He does deliver us from those enemies and He does deliver us out of those distresses and “He make all things beautiful in HIS time”.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, please consider doing that today!

You will not regret it and this could be the dawning of your brand new, “new every day” day!

Thanks for reading! God bless you with love & peace!

Nothing like these old photos, this one is one of my favorites. Despite the quality they are priceless.

Mom,Ruby,&Me

Mom, Ruby, & Me and in my heart they will forever be.

 

 

Letting grace reign…

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (hidden truth); (as I wrote afore time (before) in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the grace of God given unto me by the effectual (effective) working of HIS power. 

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; 

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God. 

According to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we boldness and access with confidence by the faith in him.

Wherefore I desire that you faint not (do not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is for your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family of earth is named.

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. 

That Christ might dwell in your hearts BY faith; that ye being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth (surpasses) knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask OR think, according to the POWER that WORKETH IN US,

Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3

You know so many words and thoughts can come to mind when we think the word “grace” and one that always comes to my mind is the title, “His Grace” and as our King eternal, Jesus is the very essence of grace.

I would even dare go so far as to say, He IS grace, as HE IS love, HE IS mercy, HE IS humility, beauty, and gentleness and rightfully so because HE IS divine. Which is why He is capable of showering us with a love that goes beyond our realm of human understanding.

A love that we do not even possess the knowledge to fathom, BUT we can certainly rest in that love and He invites us to do so.

The title “His Grace” alludes to goodwill, compassion, elegance, and the display of mercy to all that will approach His throne and ask for that mercy.

Our human understanding of grace versus the reality of grace is what often becomes the problem for us.

For many it is so hard to simply accept the salvation and forgiveness of sin that mercy and grace offers FREELY, because we with human thoughts think there must be some “kind of catch” something to MAKE US WORTHY.

When truly we are NEVER worthy, never will be worthy, it is simply HE IS WORTHY and His mercy provides that blood covering for us.

Romans 5 speaks of the fall of man, you know, the basics, the serpent tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, and all three were punished and ALL of mankind from that point forward was BORN into sin.

Now, I know it is often asked, why did the actions of those three fall on us all, or why didn’t God just make a new earth, think about this, ALL who are and were, and will be were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

We were already set in motion, to be in existence and as far as the new earth, it will be, when it comes down in the fulfillment of the prophecy of John.  

And these things must be taken on faith and he could have destroyed ALL of them in the garden, but nothing would exist as we know and I personally believe that also includes us.

I want to give a few verses that explain that mystery of that through the fall of Adam, humans were condemned but by the grace through Jesus, all who will, can be forgiven through the acceptance of that grace.

Romans 5:17-21: ” For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,Jesus Christ. 

Therefore as by the offense of one (false step)  judgment came upon ALL to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (one righteous act) the free gift came upon all men justified into life.

Moreover the law entered that the offence (sin) might abound, But WHERE sinned abounded, GRACE did much more abound.

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

There is also your proof of that “legal mentality” that either through others, or the devil, or even our own minds, tries so hard to discourage us from excepting His Grace.

But grace always goes above and beyond all level that sin has attained.

Just as in all things God goes above and beyond all we could ever even think, His mercy and grace to forgive our sins is absolutely no exception to His rule. And the flip side to the thoughts of grace is this, as we need to always be mindful of that grace, accept that grace, and don’t be telling the Lord “Oh, I don’t deserve forgiveness”, or “I haven’t been that bad.”

It is NEVER about deserving anything and it is also NEVER about being good enough, it is all about His free gift and the truth of this, by not accepting His free gift, we are essentially telling Him that we are our own salvation and there is no such thing, we can not save ourselves and all our refusal and rejection of Him really says is that we are so prideful and self-willed  that we would rather chance being lost eternally and forever condemned because of those sins, as to humble ourselves into the hands of God.

More good advice from Galatians 2:21: ” I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (died for nothing).”

And that is what we are saying when refuse that grace. 

Now equally as big a problem, those who take that grace and then use it as a “pass” to do whatever they wish. James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.” When we “know better”, when we know that actions are wrong, we will be guilty of that wrong. One of the most disturbing things I have heard people say, that they would do something in anger, that they knew was wrong, “And ask God to forgive” them “for it later.”

HE does NOT work that way, if we sin, we must ask forgiveness but we can’t willfully sin and then expect Him to forgive us.

These attitudes jump, one says it another says and then it sounds like a good ideal and we have so many false teachings in our world today,  the Groovy Gurus, and the Old Goat & candy coats  spreading so much false doctrine of  Gumdrops, Lollipops, & Candy-Coated Christianity that we now have a major case of Sugar Decay to try to repair.

Think about it today, think about what grace means to you and remember these words from Ephesians 2:8: “For BY grace, are ye saved through faith…”

It is not my grace. It is not your grace. It is His grace and for that we should always be mindful, thankful, and most of all, GRATEFUL.

Peace& Love till next time!Thanks for reading & God bless you!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Love this song! I have used it before, BUT it is so perfect an explanation of grace! And he has the coolest voice.